Energy Bites. Quick Halva Recipe. Gluten-Free
It all starts with tehina, the crushed sesame paste rock star. We all love the wonderful taste of halvah: the great Sephardi dessert classic confection starring Tehina paste and sold all over Israeli and Middle Eastern markets. We hardly ever get near it because of the prohibitive amount of sugar it contains. I tinkered with the flavors, using Tehina as my base. I ended up with this delicious and infinitely less sweet approximation.
And here’s the best past: my Halva Recipe makes Halva go from a guilty indulgence to super healthy energy bites: Gluten-free friendly, super delicious, takes no time. No cooking no baking. It keeps refrigerated for weeks, and in the freezer for a good 3 months.
Attack of the munchies?
One of these energy bites will hit the spot! You will never have to worry again that your teeth might walk away from one of those fabulous commercial halva bars we love but doesn’t love us back!
If you are making this treat on short notice and don’t have time to let the mixture firm up to shape halva bars, don’t worry about a thing: Pour the mixture into a serving bowl, and serve it with a spoon, which is the way I always serve it, never bothering to make halva bars. Great for sprinkling over yogurt too!
I love to tinker with tehina
I use it in both savory and sweet preparations. You will love my fish in tehina sauce!
I make my Maple Halva Mousse with store-bought Halva, and stretch the flavors to the hilt to end up with another wonderful, not-too-sweet and healthy Halva dessert.
Explore with other nut butters:
Peanut, almond or cashew butter will be perfectly suitable for these energy balls as well: That won’t make you halva, but it will make the perfect energy bites or energy bars!
- 1½ cups tehina (sesame paste). Explore with other nut butters
- 1½ cups “toasted wheat germ and honey” (that’s the exact name of the product) in the cereal section of the supermarket (gluten-free: use 2 cups old fashioned oats, toasted in a skillet or in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes)
- 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut, packed
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds or chopped almonds or pistachios (10–12 minutes in a preheated 325°F oven)
- 1 cup agave syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, rose water or orange flower water
- Optional: throw in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit
Mix all ingredients by hand. Press firmly and uniformly into a 10-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares or bars, or shape into balls.
Variation: chocolate-covered halva energy bars
Reduce the agave to 2∕3 cup. After the mixture firms up, melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon oil, and spread uniformly over the top of the mixture. Let the chocolate layer firm up before cutting into squares or bars.
I love the idea of adding the coconut! That is awesome. I made the gluten free version. You would have to hold a gun to my head and convince me you would shoot before I touched agave syrup, so I did use honey, but these were still awesome.
Debbie LOL I wouldn’t shoot, and I wouldn’t harm a fly. You know what: I will share with you a Facebook post I put up recently, with its update: It will make my whole point for me, and explain why, knowing what I know now for sure, I would simply use unrefined sugar, just like I do in all my baking, across the board. Here comes:
Question to you if I may, I would love your feedback soon, as I am busy developing natural recipes with no sugar for special-needs people: Erythritol: Friend of foe? What’s the scoop on it? We are told that ALL sweeteners ending with OL are broken down, reassembled and therefore not healthy. What’s your take? Please elaborate. TIA.
My own update: From everything I read this week, here’s what I understand: Real revelations. And real savings!
– Honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice sugar: nutritionally identical to sugar, only much more expensive. (Honey does have nutrients, maple syrup is delicious). If all you want is use sugar moderately in coffee or in baking, then SuCaNat (for brown sugar) and evaporated cane juice (for white sugar) are the best deal, as they are naturally processed (unrefined) cane sugars. They are all I ever use in Baking.
– The absolute winner in all natural sugars is date sugar.
– The absolute winner in all alternative no-sugar sweeteners is erythritol.
As you know, I love this recipe. I like to roll the “dough” into balls and roll them into extra coconut and sesame seeds to make little “truffles” of goodness.
Faith yup! We just made them today for the kids in camp:-)
What about a brand for the wheat germ and honey?
Suzi look in the cereal section. Kretchmer brand
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t dip into my container of havah; this is the first time I see it mixed with coconut! this recipe is easy and very tempting, thanks for the clever idea.
Joumana you will love it xo
Hi Levana, Can you recommend the best tahini brand to use?
Thanks very much!
We are friends of Sol and Nechama…
Robyn and Mordechai Rozwaski
Robyn I confess I have very plebeian taste about tehina, as long as it says pure or all-natural. Recently a brand called Soom Foods recommended I try their tehina (from Ethiopia). I’ll look out for it and give everyone feedback:-))))